Business travellers in Brisbane and Sydney have been socked with steep hotel room price rises this year. The two Australian cities are in the world's top 15 hotel price increases, beating out many more obvious candidates for the "most expensive" title.
The average price for a hotel room in Sydney this month is A$192.03 -- making the city the world's second most expensive once luxury holiday destinations like the Maldives are excluded from the rankings.
Among business destinations, only Geneva and Rio de Janeiro have a higher average price than Sydney -- and that's just because Rio's famous Carnaval is happening in March this year instead of February, drawing visitors from around the world.
Brisbane's average hotel room price is A$161.40, which is only a few dollars cheaper than New York City.
Even cities normally seen among the world's most expensive like New York, London, Tokyo, Moscow and Oslo fell thirty or more dollars behind Sydney's average price, according to HotelsCombined's March Price Index.
Part of the increase is down to the strong Australian dollar compared with the US dollar. The increases in average price in Sydney and Brisbane fall to a still-steep 8% when quoted in A$, but round off to 19% in US$.
Business travellers to Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore, and Vancouver and Rio de Janeiro have also experienced significant rises in the last year, with prices rising between 21% and 30%.
With all these price increases, March might well be the month to break out your hotel frequent guest program's reward stays if you're paying for your own hotel room.